Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Struggle for The First Job of My Life

7:30 am: I start my day. Not willing to get crushed in the peak hour office crowd early in the day, I decide to take a detour via Borivali to reach Dadar.

9:00am: After a comfortable train journey, I reach college. Today’s is the fourth company coming for Campus Placement and the atmosphere is similar to the earlier three occasions- the entire VJTronix class is present, decked up in formals, looking like senior executives. SS and AS, who had not registered themselves for this company, now decide to sit for it. But immediately they are shown the door in no uncertain terms by the Placement Officer, Mr G. The class watches in stunned silence.

9:30 am: Two representatives from Wipro VLSI arrive for the Pre-Placement talk (PPT). One is a young lady of around 25 and another is a middle-aged man looking like an overworked scientist. A brief slideshow showcasing the achievements of the company is followed by a video titled Life@Work, which is received with a huge round of applause. A few question-answers follow. An unexpected surprise pops up- the company is asking for a 15-month bond! Nobody knew about this earlier. A few minutes later, a wave of surprise sweeps across the room once again when we are informed that the company provides accommodation for seven days only! Yeah, you heard that right-only one week!

11:00 am: The two company representatives try to arrange the students on one-student-per-bench basis for the written test but the rowdy crowds that we are, a few students always end up sharing the bench with their friends! Finally, a third representative of the company- a beautiful young girl, pitches in and after 15 minutes of harsh talk, finally manage to get the entire class in order!

11:15 am: Papers are distributed for the Aptitude Test. We are pleasantly surprised to see CAT-style OMR sheets being distributed. Heights of professionalism! The instructions to fill the OMR sheet and other warnings take up a considerable time. Before the test can actually start, another surprise is thrown at us- all those who sit for Wipro VLSI today shall not be allowed to sit for Wipro Infotech next week, even if they don’t get selected today! An option is given to the students to leave at this moment if they wish to sit next week and PB, DA, SG and a few others take up this opportunity and walk out.

11:30 am: The question papers for the Aptitude Test are finally distributed. We are to solve 50 questions in 60 minutes- 20 on Verbal, 20 on Quant and 10 Technical. The paper has no negative marking but has sectional cutoffs. The questions in Technical section leave me flabbergasted as they ask things about Unix and Data Structures! Other sections are challenging but workable.

12:30 pm: Aptitude Test ends and we are informed that the results would be out in an hour. So, we settle down to have lunch in the TPO itself in our usual fashion- with half the guys climbing onto the desks to form a complete circle.

01:00 pm: Somebody complains about the students “misbehaving” in the TPO and Mr.G comes around to have a look. Unfortunately, at this very moment, I am the only one sitting on the desk and as a result I am made the ‘bakra’. Mr. G takes away my I-card and threatens to report to the Director about my “misbehavior”. By this time, Aptitude Test results are out and it turns out that 50 people have been short-listed for interviews. Interviews are to begin in half an hour and I am second on the list. A note at the bottom of the results page states “Carry your College ID with you for the interview”. Shit! Now I am in trouble! I go to Mr. G and ask for my I-card but he is in no mood to relent. He even threatens me that he “will ensure that your placements are affected” as according to him, there is no place for such misbehaving students at VJTI. Yeah, right- after all there isn’t a more grave crime in the world than sitting on a desk na! Depressed and angry, I go to the washroom to get ready for interview and ascribe quite a few chosen profanities to Mr.G.

01:15 pm: I write a Letter of Apology and hand it over to Mr. G who has mellowed down by now. However one of our SSC-fail type “professors” who is sitting in Mr. G’s cabin suggests “Students like this should be permanently black-listed”. Yeah right, you ass****. Did you even bloody sit through one interview process in all your life to know what “black-listing” means? I get back my I-card and return to TPO. This entire nonsense wastes a valuable half hour of my time which I had decided to devote to preparing for the Tech Interview.

01:30 pm: Interviews begin. Three students are called randomly for technical interview.

02:00pm: First student returns from technical interview. So, it’s time to reveal the suspense. He is made to spit out all the questions asked during his interview. Based on this info, the others get busy with last minute studying. After a couple of interviews are over- a trend is seen- some candidates are handed over a bio-data at the end of the interview while some are not.

02:30pm: The suspense of the bio-data is clear by now- only those who have been given the bio-data can proceed for the HR interview. The others wait wondering what next…

03:30pm: My name is called out for technical interview. I am taken to a room where that middle-aged scientist-uncle is sitting alone. The first question thrown at me has me perplexed- “You stay in Malad, right? So, tell me which bus goes directly from Matunga to Malad?” What kind of “technical” question is this? A couple of casual questions later, he asks me about my Microcontroller Project and interrogates for about 25 minutes on it. This is followed by random questions on topics as diverse as Instrumentation Amplifiers, Clippers and Clampers, 8085 and 8086 Microprocessors etc. Finally.45 minutes into the interview, he decides its enough and hands over the bio-data to me.

04:15pm: I return to the class- happy to get the coveted bio-data- the supposed indication of clearing the technical interview. As expected, I am bombarded with “What were you asked” type questions. Answering them, I sit back to fill in the new bio-data. By this time, the class has found some humour in the tense environment and the class is now being divided into three categories- the “Confirmed Tickets” (those who got bio-data), the “RAC” (those who gave interview but were not given bio-data) and “Waitlisted” (those who are yet to give their interviews). Each student coming back from the interview with the bio-data now began to shout it out “Confirmed ticket mila!”

05:00pm: I finish filling up the bio-data and go for the HR interview. The lady who gave the PPT was to interview me. Sitting next to her is a beautiful young girl of around 25- fair, cute looking, green eyes and golden hair! I spend the first minute admiring her. (Yeah! Guys will be guys!). The interviewer looks at my bio-data and stops at the “Hobbies” column. I have purposely written in-depth about my railfanning craze to divert the talk into my favourite topic. And bingo! She falls for it! First question shot at me- “So, what is this Indian Railways Fan Club and what do you guys do?” From here, it is my territory! For the next ten minutes, I talk at length about IRFCA and she sits quiet, listening in excitement. I show her the Times Of India article featuring me. She looks at it and asks, “What are you guys photographing? A TRAIN?”. “Yes, ma’am.” Hearing this, she pokes the beautiful babe who was busy noting my replies on her laptop and exclaims- “Look at this!” and both started giggling loudly. After this, she just asks one question- “Don’t you want to pursue a full time M.S./M.B.A.?" Not the one to get tricked, I reply cunningly- “You said in the PPT that Wipro will take care of my further studies. I am looking forward to that!” She decides it’s enough and allows me to leave.

06:00pm: Tired and hungry, I walk down to grab some snacks and a drink and return hurriedly. By now the number of “Confirmed tickets” have increased quite a lot and around half a dozen “RACs” are waiting, unsure about the future turn of events.

08:00pm: The technical interviews and HR interviews are going on slowly and boredom creeps in big time. Nobody is studying anymore. Everyone just wants it to end. We count the number of “Confirmed Tickets” and the score is 22, and bound to increase! This sets in a feeling of panic- it may happen that quite a few with “Confirmed Tickets” would miss the train! After lengthy deliberations, we settle at a conclusion that the count would be probably cut into half finally.

08:30pm: The last guy emerging out of the Technical Interview is Mr AR. He takes an eternity to fill the bio-data and go for HR Interview. Once inside, again he takes ages to emerge out. We all finished our HR Interviews in 10 minutes each and this guy is inside for 30 minutes! Something is fishy!

09:00pm: The HR ladies come to the class and drop a bombshell- “We have selected EIGHT candidates!” A stunned silence fills the class. After the 12 hour wait, 16 out of the 24 people will have to go home empty-handed! She starts announcing the names one by one and hands over a red cap to the selected candidate. Six names are done, I am not on the list. She speaks out the seventh name and voila! It’s me! The long wait pays off! I collect my red cap, thank the interviewers, accept congratulatory handshakes from friends and proudly walk out of the college- having secured The First Job of My Life!


  1. somebody's copied my style of writing events time wise :)
    n plz explain all the acronyms.

  2. It was quite a good read...and how about sending a link of this blog to the beautiful babes who took your interview-;)...they would be flabbergasted...

  3. Hey nice detailed description. M sure some highly hush hush ppl rarely tell wat questions they wr asked unlike u.. good work!

  4. @Zai

    Yeah right! Going by your definiton, next time you adopt ANY styleof writing, I am gonna accuse you of plagiarism because I have experimented with allpossible writing techniques so far! Now you are gonna be in trouble! ;-)

    Here are the acronyms for you-

    VLSI- Very Large Scale Integration (of Si chips)
    TPO- Training and Placement Office
    CAT- Common Aptitude Test
    OMR- Optical Magnitude Reader
    VJTI- Veermata Jeejebai Technological Institute
    SSC- Secondary School Certificate
    RAC- Reservation After Confirmation
    HR- Human Resource
    IRFCA- Indian Railways Fan Club

    The other acronyms are confidential and cannot be revealed!

  5. i knew all these...i meant the people.

  6. @Zai
    Oh dear! Didn't you get that was sarcasm? If I wanted to reveal the names, why would I use acronyms in the first place? :P

  7. fair, cute looking, green eyes and golden hair! I spend the first minute admiring her.

    thats the case with me too; nothings new in this.

    And you've got a job; thats more important.

    Your way of writing is too good; i was reading your blog since the last 1 hour. Surely try for writing as a secondary hobby; and try these in some newspaper.


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